SUMMARY: This season’s Super Bowl TV spots are already sold out, with some spots going for over $6 million. The real question, however, is will these spots actually sell products or entertain us? Internet advertising has overtaken TV because marketers tend to be dumb and follow the crowds even though online ads are ripe with fraud and suffer from poor metrics.
Television remains one of the most popular and effective advertising channels worldwide. Despite the ongoing digitalization of the advertising industry and the proliferation of online video streaming services, marketers are still embracing the potential of (linear) television for brand promotion. In the United States, the leading advertising market worldwide, television ranks as the second most profitable advertising medium behind the internet and accounts for approximately 25 percent of total U.S. media ad revenue. As of 2020, TV ad spend in the U.S. amounted to 60 billion U.S. dollars. While this figure dropped by 15 percent amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, spending is forecast to stabilize in the following years.
For an advertiser, broadcast television is still an effective way to reach a large number of people. With 99% of homes having access to broadcast channels, you can target your advertisement to run during specific programs (TV shows), to certain age groups, and within specific DMAs (think large geographic regions).
Unfortunately, too many brands have moved too much money out of TV and into digital. They’re losing money to fraud and poor metrics. TV is still the number one channel for building awareness, but too many marketers believe that exceeding reach and frequency will increase sales when all it does is piss off consumers.
In the past, Super Bowl commercials were judged on their ability to entertain us, not sell products. We love to be entertained by commercials that make us laugh, but that doesn’t mean people will suddenly make a move from prospect to customer.
NFL football gives us a chance to break away from the COVID and political divisiveness funk that is everywhere. Lat night brands have already started to air new commercials for the season, but the problem will be that they become boring and annoying once you have seen the ads a couple of times. Will TV make a comeback? In my opinion, it never went away.